Companies are hiring again, albeit at a tepid pace, as the pandemic continues to cloud the outlook for businesses and their need to staff up.
Private payrolls grew by 428,000 last month, ADP reported on Wednesday, well below the 975,000 expected from economists surveyed by FactSet though still better than July's tepid 167,000 positions created.
By category, businesses with between 50 and 499 employees reported gains of 79,000 for the month, while big business added 298,000 jobs, while firms with fewer than 50 workers added 52,000, ADP said.
The bulk of the hires were in service-related industries, with 389,000 new positions being added by U.S. companies. Goods-producing sectors created 40,000 new jobs, ADP said. All categories showed gains but for Information, which posted a 1,000 drop.
The numbers continue to illustrate how businesses are struggling to reopen and re-hire amid the now six-month-long pandemic that has thrown a wrench in the U.S. economy – and has also forced businesses to re-assess if and how they can operate.
Indeed, the numbers are a grim prelude to August’s non-farm payroll report, to be released by the Labor Department this Friday. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting some 1.5 million jobs to have been created last month following June's 1.8 million gain.
The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 9.8% from 10.2% in July.